X

Dana White to Yoel Romero: 'America Doesn't Want to Hear Your Thoughts on Jesus'

Jordy McElroy@https://twitter.com/JordyMcElroyCorrespondent IJune 30, 2015

Yoel Romero celebrates after beating Clifford Starks in a UFC middleweight mixed martial arts fight in San Jose, Calif., Saturday, April 20, 2013. Romero won by knock out in the first round. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

In the Bill of Dana White, there must be a separation of church and fighting.

The UFC President spoke with MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani at the unveiling of the new Reebok uniforms about Yoel Romero’s controversial post-fight comments on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 70.

If only for a moment, Romero endeared himself to fans by dusting off former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida. In the most impressive performance of his MMA career, he stopped Machida, a future Hall of Famer, in the third round with a bevy of elbows.

And then Romero—broken English and all—spoke on the microphone.

I expected to hear the typical heartfelt speech about overcoming obstacles, never giving up and the great potential for every dream to be realized. But apparently Romero was feeling froggy. Perhaps it was the extra adrenaline pumping through his veins after knocking out Machida. The Cuban Olympian used his time on the microphone to preach to the fans.

“Wake up USA. Go, go back for you. Go. Go for Jesus, not for gay Jesus people,” Romero appeared to say.

It initially seemed like Romero might be referencing the recent Supreme Court ruling in the United States, which legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country, and there has been debate over the specific phrasing, with no forget Jesus” as another interpretation.

At the post-fight press conference, through a Spanish interpreter, Romero claimed he was referencing his own happiness to be living the American dream. But none of that matters to White, who argued Romero shouldn’t have put himself in that position in the first place.

He told Helwani:

You just won the biggest fight of your career. America doesn’t want to hear your thoughts on Jesus. Keep that stuff at home—religion, politics, all that stuff. When you’re out there fighting and you’re being interviewed, they want to hear about the fight. ... Love Jesus all you want. You just don’t have to do it publicly.

Romero apologized for any misunderstanding at the post-fight press conference.

There is more power in words than the sharpest of elbows. To think, we could be talking about how Romero knocked out a former UFC champion and elevated himself into title contention, but instead, we are dissecting comments made in an interview.

Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He also is the MMA writer for FanRag Sports and co-founder of The MMA Bros.